Preview: San Jose at St. Louis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
The St. Louis Blues attempt to avenge their most recent regulation loss and extend their season-high winning streak to six games when they host the San Jose Sharks on Monday. St. Louis has earned at least one point in seven consecutive contests (6-0-1) since beginning a three-game homestand with a 3-1 setback against San Jose on Feb. 4.
The Blues, who have a firm hold on third place in the Central Division and are just two points behind Chicago for first, will be without second-leading scorer Alex Steen (upper body) but will have Jake Allen (lower body) at their disposal for the first time since Jan. 8. San Jose fell to 2-1-0 on its five-game road trip with a 5-2 loss at Carolina on Friday. The Sharks occupy third place in the Pacific and trail Los Angeles by five points for the top spot. Veteran center Joe Thornton hopes to begin another point streak after having his seven-game run – which began with a goal versus the Blues in their first meeting – was ended by the Hurricanes.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, Sportsnet
ABOUT THE SHARKS (31-21-5): Defenseman Brenden Dillon, who participated in Sunday’s practice, will miss his sixth straight contest with an upper-body injury but could return for the finale of San Jose’s trek in Colorado on Wednesday. Tommy Wingels also is expected to be sidelined for a second consecutive game due to an upper-body ailment. Captain Joe Pavelski shares the league lead with eight game-winning tallies and is four away from reaching the 30-goal plateau for the third straight season and fourth in his career.
ABOUT THE BLUES (35-17-9): Steen was placed on injured reserve after getting hurt on a check by Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton in Saturday’s win and will be evaluated in four weeks. The 31-year-old leads the team with 30 assists and is four points behind Vladimir Tarasenko (51) for first on the club. Allen, who is 18-10-3 with five shutouts and a 2.17 goals-against average, was activated Sunday but will watch Brian Elliott make his 18th consecutive start after going 12-3-2 with a 1.76 GAA and .943 save percentage over the first 17.
1. Blues LW Jaden Schwartz has recorded a goal in three straight games and four of five since returning from a fractured ankle that had sidelined him since Oct. 20.
2. The Sharks sent D Mirco Mueller to San Jose of the American Hockey League.
3. St. Louis recalled D Jordan Schmaltz and RW Dmitrij Jaskin from Chicago of the AHL and assigned G Jordan Binnington and D Peter Harrold to the Wolves.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Sharks 2